Do you know how to sit at the table? Do you respect the rules of bon ton? Do you know what it is, especially in the presence of guests, but not only? Perhaps it will be appropriate to do a little review, so as not to make mistakes.
In fact, think about if you were to find yourself at a gala dinner, perhaps abroad. Anyway, in a very formal dinner.
You certainly cannot disfigure.
Let’s start with something that will shock you. Saying ‘Bon appetit’ is a big mistake. A smile is enough.
For the aristocrats, in fact, the table was an occasion for conversation, the food only served to make it more pleasant. Back straight, please, and no elbows on the table.
The arms go to the sides and only the hands on the tablecloth. Do not allow yourself to stretch your legs under the table, you could hit whoever is in front of you or next to you. The napkin goes strictly on the knees and is brought to the mouth only when the need is felt. It should not be tied around the neck, and also applies to the little ones. Toddlers are saved with bibs.
You do not start eating unless all the guests have been served and the host is expected to begin the meal.
No to food touched with hands, except bread and breadsticks, which in any case must be broken before being brought to the mouth. After breaking the bread, it must be placed on the saucer in front of it, on the left.
Of course it is bad manners to talk on the phone or text.
It is forbidden to mop up your plate with bread, like it is forbidden to blow to cool the food. No noise should be heard while chewing.
If you are about to finish a soup, lift the plate towards the center of the table to collect the broth with the last spoonfuls. The knife is used for cutting and should not be brought to the mouth.
The fork is held with the right hand, between index and thumb; it is held to the left only while making the cut. If nothing else is desired, at the end of each course, fork and knife should be placed parallel on the plate. If you are still eating, with the tips in contact and the handles slightly apart. If a dish is too far away, ask a neighbor to approach it. Food is cut a little at a time and not all at once. If the glass of water or wine is empty, before filling it, pour it to the other neighbors.
The toast is made by raising the glass to the height of your face and extending your arm towards the birthday boy. Don’t say ‘Cheers’. To refuse a drink, just give a slight wave of your hand to the person who is offering it to you.
If, on the other hand, you want to organize a table properly, remember that the cutlery goes to the side of the plate: on the left the forks, in order of use from the outside to the inside; on the right the knives with the blade inwards. Outermost the spoon. For formal banquets, a bread saucer is provided to be placed on the left side of the serving dish.
Tablecloth and napkins must be chosen of the same color. If you have a silver service, use it. Calculate a fork for each course. If there is fish as an appetizer, the special fork should be placed in the first position on the left, the fish spoon is always external to the normal knife. If there is also soup, add the soup spoon. The cutlery for dessert or sorbet should be placed on top of the plate. To serve pasta or risotto, flat plates should be used, bowls are also good if the flat plates are not enough. The appetizer must be placed immediately on the flat plate, then the plate already filled with the soup is brought to the table.
The goblet glasses are the most elegant: one large for water and two for wine, medium for red and small for white. Finally, remember that delays are not allowed, punctuality is a sign of great education.
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